The Stages of Traceability and how they Benefit your Business

Traceability. It’s pretty straightforward – the ability to trace and keep track of all the steps in the supply chain. But even though the concept of traceability is straightforward, it can also be very complex. The first step in true supply chain traceability starts in the warehouse. This is where you keep track of all products coming in and going out. You know what’s moving and what’s not, and you have this information right at your fingertips. The need for traceability in the warehouse is always necessary to some extent, but depending on your business, and where you are in your journey, implementing a traceability strategy can look very different. In this post, we will talk about the different stages of traceability in the warehouse, what each level means, and how they benefit your business.

Level 1: The importance of structure in an early-stage warehouse 

As a new business that´s just setting up a room to store your inventory, there is a lot to think about. Making sure everything has its place, how the items will move through the warehouse, and making sure you’ve got full control over when items are out of stock. Without these foundational implementations, you’ll eventually get buried deep in excel sheets and unnecessary labor work to keep track of the inventory every day.

The first implementation of traceability in the early stage of a warehouse is just this, to get structure and be able to trace the movement of goods  in the warehouse. This is where you go from no structure to the first level of traceability.  

Level 2: The power of Traceability in real-time 

When you’ve got your foundation in place, and you’ve become the expert in your own warehouse, you need to ask yourself  the question,” Are the processes efficient, and is it being updated in real-time?If the answer is no, you should continue reading. Traceability in real-time is important for plenty of reasons. First, you’ll increase customer satisfaction by making sure your stock levels are updated in real-time. You can imagine the disappointment when a customer orders a product that turns out to be out of stock? Real-time traceability also puts you in more control over how, where, and when things are moving through the warehouse, which will increase efficiency and save you money on unnecessary labor work, customer complaints, and returns.  

Level 3: Taking full control over your Warehouse 

The final step is to have full control over all stages of traceability and the movement of goods in and out of your warehouse, from your supplier to your customers, and potential returns. Advanced Shipping Notice (ASN) brings the whole circle of traceability together and is a functionality you definitely need to implement into your WMS System. With full visibility and control of the whole supply chain, you increase your business efficiency by minimizing the following problems. 

Picking errors 

When you run a warehouse, picking errors are inevitable. Without proper traceability, the error can be hard to track down to the source which in turn can cause a chain effect of other problems such as delays, wrong shipment to customers, and costly returns. It’s a vicious cycle that can easily be avoided with a WMS that enables traceability.

Increased customer satisfaction 

Transparency is critical in today’s consumer world, and this means including your customers in every step of their purchasing journey. With traceability processes in place, you are not only making sure you have full control over your supply chain journey, but you are also giving your customers the right information about their orders from purchasing to delivery. 

No matter what stage you’re at within your business,  proper traceability in your warehouse is crucial to maintaining control over and increasing quality in your supply chain. Read more here if you want to increase the traceability in your warehouse by implementing a WMS.

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